You’ve faced yourself and your family. All that remains now is to take that first big step: entering treatment. You still have apprehensions about what awaits you. Will it pay off? Will you really get help to assist you in not using and keep you stopped once you leave treatment? You and a thousand other people have asked these questions. Let’s explore what awaits you.
Making the Call -Taking the Step Into Inpatient Treatment:
In the other end of the line is a person who has been trained to answer a person like you. They know just how and where to direct your call, and they will probably ask you some questions so they know just how to help you best. From beginning to end, your call will be treated with confidentiality, respect and care.
Starting on the phone with the beginning questions, a clinical assessment is made. Any treatment center is going to want to be sure you are safe, and to assess where you are in your stage of detox or use. This will help the assessor to decide where to refer you. Once you are seen in person this assessment will be completed. The assessment includes your physical, mental and emotional state of being. Some of the things that will be assessed include:
• Drug and alcohol history
• Medical history
• Family history
• Who will be involved in treatment
• Legal involvement
• School and work history
• Relationship history
These things are assessed from the beginning to help you have the best shot at looking at the way your life has been impacted by drugs and/or alcohol. In this way you can make the best of your inpatient stay.
Depending on the length of use and what you have used, you will most likely be referred into medical detox. This is to guarantee your safe detoxification from the substances you have been using and to facilitate a smooth transition into the inpatient program. In most cases you will begin group and individual treatment while you are still in detox. Inpatient treatment programs value your time and the commitment you have made to come into treatment and will treat that time as important. Accordingly, you will be integrated into the full treatment program as quickly as you are able to participate.
Lifestyle and Wellness Programs:
Part of the daily on-going treatment program is a focus on rebuilding a healthy lifestyle. This presupposes that what is lost in becoming involved with drugs and alcohol is the same. As addiction progresses and the addict or alcoholic becomes more focused on the obsessive drive to use, what is lost is the healthy balance of family, work and play. Some people never developed a sense of this due to the young age of the onset of addiction. Cognitive behavioral groups, exercise programs, nutritional information programs and other functional educational programs help to begin to rebuild skills that are needed to restore and build this balance into life. A group setting is often the best setting for this, as patients can experiment and model their new-found skills in the group.
Most treatment programs try to integrate family members into treatment as much as possible. This can be done in the following ways:
• Couples or family therapy
• Family groups
• Family education programs
• On-going aftercare
Beginning to address family issues while in treatment can help to alleviate tensions that may have built up prior to admission and help build a foundation for continued family recovery and healthy relations once you return home.
Co-existing mental health issues that may arise during treatment or are assessed at admission should be addressed before discharge, such as anxiety or depression. These may be an impediment to recovery and may require regular on-going treatment with a behavioral health professional. Some treatment centers have a behavioral health professional on the premises who can address these issues before discharge.
Employee Assistance Issues:
If work issues were part of the problem before admission, there may be a need for communication with the workplace before discharge. Often the workplace has an Employee Assistance Program which may have helped refer you, or once admitted the counselor or case management team may contact the workplace with your permission.
As discharge from treatment approaches, your personal counselor and case management team will work with you to help you build a lifelong commitment to recovery. You will want to build a relapse prevention program that includes follow-up counseling at the rehab or with someone in your home area. You will need to build connections with a support network and you will need to identify both your strengths and your weak areas so that you will know what you have to work on to continue your abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
The treatment center can be viewed as a support system gathering around you the rehabilitation services to help you to regain your equilibrium in the outside world. You may feel awkward at first having to open up with other patients and staff, but exactly as much as you are able to do so is the measure of how solid your recovery will be.